Friday, January 3, 2014

Stop Complaining and Change Already

A really good friend of mine absolutely hates self-help remedies. She waves away self-help books, programs, challenges, and seminars. She scoffs at "The Secret" and doesn't believe stories or testimonials from those who state otherwise. She thinks pop-culture psychotherapy has one purpose and one purpose only - to make money. I respect this woman's opinion....she holds a Master's degree, has studied the human brain and psychological development for years, and argues her point with valid, poignant facts. She tells it to me straight....

"Jen," she says on a regular basis, " are ridiculous."

You see dear readers, I am what some would refer to as a sucker

I love reading books about self-help, self-awareness, chakras, laws of attraction, feng shui, meditation, mystical creatures, or spiritual awakenings. I once spent an hour just gazing at various geological substances, trying to decide if any of them "spoke" to me and could invoke an undying passion for tigers eye or amethyst. I like learning the folklore and ancient mysteries of the world....from faeries to angels, spirit connections to auras, I willingly fall headfirst for any sales pitch - provided it tells a good story.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not gullible, per-say. I can, like my good friend, find the profit push behind all the smoke and mirrors. Take the Nutrisystem, for example. That guy is on my TV every Saturday and, like clockwork, I sit there, drinking my tea, wishing like heck I had a uber-powerful blender to whip me up some health and happiness in a glass. I fall for his story every single time....yet I never buy a thing. It's inspired me to buy more fruits and veggies. I've tried a few drinks with my $12 clearance Target blender. It's no NUTRI BLAST IN YO FACE EPIC POWER SMOOTHIE, but it's an improvement.

What I chose to do with the information shoved in my face made all the difference.

This week we had a crazy snowstorm. It dropped about 14 inches over the course of two days. 

I sat in my house on New Years Day and went over my list of to-dos. I couldn't go outside, so visiting friends was out, as was running errands. I had to complete a few writing assignments, my closet needed to be reorganized, and there's always work to be done on the house. At about 9AM Aaron sat me down in front of the computer, turned on my favorite video game, and told me to start playin. He told me today was the day I was going to do nothing. I would do absolutely nothing productive for the first time in a very, very long time. 

I was terrified. 

Everything I've read, everyone I've talked to, everything I've heard tells me that in order to succeed, I need to push, work, go, go go. Yet here I am, week after week, complaining about stress, being overwhelmed, and feeling unbalanced. How do these super bloggers do it all? How does that adorable Pioneer Lady make it work so well? I'll tell you what, I doubt she spends an entire day just chillin in her pajamas, playing video games and tickling her kids. I bet that's not the way to success. It can't be, right? Right?

Well let me tell you sumthin. I need to read a few more books on healing folklore because this beautiful, mystical thing called deep relaxation? It worked. 

I sat there, on my butt, stressin out about doing nothing. It took me a good hour or two to really let it go and relax, and when I finally did, I realized I've been jacking this up. I've been complaining and complaining about my circumstances, making myself sick, testing the patience of family and friends who put up with my chaotic attitude.....for what. To aimlessly follow the advice and words shoved in my face by websites and market leaders? C'mon now, Jen. Don't be sucha sucker. 

That's the beauty of human have the power to choose and change. I, and you, have the power to literally change just about everything in our lives, from finances, to relationships, to health, to ideals and attitudes. It's a gross summarization to say everything can be changed - some aspects of life are completely grounded in an unwavering, immobile fate. But those little things? Those little things I complain about? Stress, sickness, time management issues? They can be changed. It can all be changed. I just need to get over myself and get moving. 



...all the feel-good words.

I'm blessed to be a born-free American who's protected by the fiercest Army in the world. That alone sets me lightyears ahead of the women and men struggling to retain themselves in countries ravaged by war, famine, and devastation. 

You'd think a chick who loves to read about faeries would be a bit more motivated to keep the faeth. Get it? See what I did there?

So while you're setting your goals for the new year, consider this:
Soak up the ideal...soak it in and let it saturate your imagination.....but then take some time to pull back, be my cynical friend, and set some realistic expectations. You have the power to change your situation - for better or for worse, you're eternally wed to yourself. Make it a healthy marriage of dreamer and cynic, airborne and grounded. Create within yourself the awareness and willingness to change whatever it is you're struggling with.

And don't worry, if you still want to complain every now and then, I'll forgive you. Where would this blog be without a little forgiveness...;)

Thanks for reading and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.


  1. Beautiful! I am with you. Intentional is my word for 2014. Slowing down. Putting down the phone doing things I want to do not just finding ways to fill my time. Nothing is more beautiful than a quiet simple breakfast with my little munchie!! Glad you are are joining the group!

    1. Thank you Sarah! I love your idea and focus on "intentional" you can see it inspired an entire post :) Thanks for reading :)

  2. Love the perspective, Jen. Thanks for another awesome post.

    1. Thank you so much :) And thank you so much for reading!

  3. Great read Jen. Thanks.
    I experienced the same thing last weekend. Successfully stayed in my house for 2 days, got things done, ate chili, and did nothing for once. Just in time.

    1. It's a wonderful thing, putting yourself first and doing nothing every once in a while. I seriously never realized how much I needed it. Love you Jen, thank you so much for reading.